The Padma Purana

by N.A. Deshpande | 1951 | 1,261,945 words | ISBN-10: 8120838297 | ISBN-13: 9788120838291

This page describes savitri’s curses and gayatri’s boons which is chapter 17 of the English translation of the Padma Purana, one of the largest Mahapuranas, detailling ancient Indian society, traditions, geography, as well as religious pilgrimages (yatra) to sacred places (tirthas). This is the seventeenth chapter of the Srishti-khanda (section on creation) of the Padma Purana, which contains six books total consisting of at least 50,000 Sanskrit metrical verses.

Chapter 17 - Sāvitrī’s curses and Gāyatrī’s boons

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Bhīṣma said:

1-3. O best brāhmaṇa, then what was the wonder there at the sacrifice? How did Rudra stay there? How also did Viṣṇu, the best of gods, reside there? What did Gāyatrī, who was positioned as (Brahmā’s) wife do there? O sage, what did the cowherds of good conduct do after having come to know (about the seizure of Gāyatrī)? Tell me this story—as to what took place and what was done by the cowherds and Brahmā. I have a great curiosity (to know) it.

Pulastya spoke:

4-7. O king, I shall tell you the wonderful things that took place at the sacrifice. Listen with concentration. Rudra, after having gone to the (sacrificial) assembly, did a great wonder. The god (i.e. Rudra) having taken up a censurable form, came there near the brāhmaṇas. Since Viṣṇu had occupied an important place, he did not do anything (to stop Rudra from entering the assembly). The cowherd boys and all the cowherdesses having learnt about the loss of the cowherd maiden, came near Brahmā.

8-10. Seeing her with a girdle tied round (her waist), and seated at the boundary of the sacrifice (the cowherds cried). Then the mother (cried): “O daughter”; the father (cried): “O daughter”; the brothers (cried): “O sister”; the friends (cried) with affection: “O friend, who brought you, the beautiful one, marked with red resin, here? Removing your garment who put the blanket on you? Who has, O daughter, tied a red string round your matted hair?” Having heard such words, Hari himself said (to her father):

11-20. “We brought her here and appointed her as (Brahma’s) wife. The girl is attached to Brahmā. Do not lament. She is auspicious, and the cause of good luck to all. and of delight to the family; if she were not auspicious, how would she have come to the (sacrificial) assembly? Realising this, O blessed one, do not grieve. Thus your daughter is very lucky (as) she has come to god Brahmā. Your daughter has secured that position which the brāhmaṇas, adept in and endowed with the contemplation on the supreme spirit, and masters of the Vedas, do not get. Having known you to be a religious person of a good conduct and devoted to righteousness, I have given this daughter to Brahmā. Liberated by her go to divine and prosperous worlds. For the fulfilment of a divine mission I shall be born in your family. It will just be a sport. When Nanda and others will be born on the earth, I shall stay among them. All your daughters will live with me. There will be no sin, no hatred and nojealousy. The cowherds or men will also cause no fear. As a result of this act (of having married Brahmā) this (your daughter) will incur no sin.” Having heard (these) words of Viṣṇu, (all of them) having saluted him left (the place).

21. (The father said:) “Let me have (i.e. enjoy) the boon which you have given me. You will take an incarnation, bringing about religious merit, in our family.

22-28. Merely by your sight we shall be the residents of heaven; and this my daughter will liberate me with (the members of) my family. O master, lord of gods, may you grant us a boon like this.” The god Viṣṇu himself pleased the cowherds. By means of (i.e. by waving) his left hand, Brahmā also communicated the same idea. The lady of excellent complexion, Gāyatrī, the cowherd-daughter, embarrassed on seeing her relatives, met them and saluting them all with her left hand, said: “Who told you (the news) about me so that you have come to this place? O mother, having come to Brahma, I have remained here; I have today obtained as my husband the lord of the entire world. You should not grieve for me, nor my father, nor my relations. Tell about my safety (i.e. I am well) to the group of my friends and to my sisters along with the children; I am staying here with deities.”

29. When all of them had left, that Gāyatrī, of a charming waist, having gone with Brahmā to the place[1] prepared and enclosed for the sacrifice, shone there.

30. The brāhmaṇas asked Brahmā for boons. (They said): “Give us the desired boons”. Brahmā too granted them the desired boons.

31. That goddess Gāyatrī also gave her consent to what was granted (by Brahmā); and that good lady too remained near the deities at the sacrifice.

32-37. That sacrifice continued for more than a hundred divine years; and Śiva, having taken a big skull (as the begging bowl) and adorned with five heads came to the place of sacrifice for alms. He, standing at the door, was reproached by the priests and members (of the sacrificial assembly): “How have you, who are censured by the expounders of the Vedas, arrived here?” Maheśvara (i.e. Śiva) thus being expelled condemned by the brāhmaṇas with a smile said to all those brāhmaṇas: “At this sacrifice of the grandsire which pleases all, no one, but me, is being driven away, O best brāhmaṇas.” Śiva[2] was told by them: “Eat food and then go”. Śiva too said to them: “O brāhmaṇas, I shall leave after eating (food).” Saying thus, and keeping the skull in front of him he sat there.

38-41. Seeing that act of theirs, the god (i.e. Śiva) acted crookedly. Leaving the skull on the ground and looking at the brāhmaṇas he said: “O best brāhmaṇas, I am going for a bath to (the sacred place) Puṣkara”. Being told by them ‘go quickly’, the lord left; he, having stupefied the gods, remained in the sky with eagerness. When Śiva had gone to Puṣkara for a bath, Brahmā soon said: “When there is the skull in the sacrificial assembly how can the sacrifice be performed here? There are filthy things in the skull.”

42-48. A brāhmaṇa in the assembly said: “I shall throw off the skull”. That member (i.e that brāhmaṇa) picked it up with his own hand and threw it off. Just then another skull appeared there; again it was picked up; in this way second, third...twenty....thirty...fifty...hundred... thousand...ten thousand (skulls appeared there). The best brāhmaṇas found no end to the skulls. Having reached the Puṣkara forest, and having saluted god Śiva they submitted to him with Vedic prayers muttered by them; and all together very much propitiated him. Then Śiva himself was pleased. Then Śiva manifested himself before them as a result of their devotion. Then that god said to those best brāhmaṇas, humble due to their devotion (for him): “Without the skull, the sacrificial oblation made of ground rice and offered in vessels[3], cannot be prepared. O brāhmaṇas, do as I tell you; (keep for me) a well-offered portion. If this is done all my directions would be followed.”

49-50. The brāhmaṇas said: “All right, we shall follow your instructions”. The lord, with the skull in his hand, said to the illustrious grandsire: “O Brahmā, ask for the boon that you hold dear to your heart. I shall, O lord, give you everything. There is nothing that I can’t give”.

51-60. Brahmā said: “As I am initiated, and I am seated here in the sacrificial assembly, I shall not accept a boon from you. I shall give all that is desired by him who solicits me here.” Saying “All right” to the grandsire, the granter of boons, who was thus speaking at the sacrifice, that Rudra asked for a boon from him. Then, when the Manu-period passed over, the lord himself (performed a sacrifice) in the same way. Śambhu fixed a place for himself to the north of Brahmā’s (place). He, the god, who had the complete knowledge even of the four Vedas, (had) at that time (gone) to see the city. (On hearing) the talk of the brāhmaṇas he went to the sacrificial assembly out of curiosity. Maheśvara, who entered Brahmā’s residence (clothed) in the same crazy dress, was seen by the best brāhmaṇas. Some laughed at him, and some censured him. Similarly other brāhmaṇas threw dust at the insane (Śiva). Other strong brāhmaṇas, proud of their strength, ridiculing him, and making (various) signs with their hands, beat him with clods of clay and clubs. So also other lads (going) near (and) seizing him with his matted hair asked him: “Who instructed you this way of observing a vow? Here there are beautiful ladies; you have come for them. Which preceptor, directing (you) the sinful (way) has shown you this course, that, talking like a mad person, you are running through (this place)?”

61-74. (Śiva replied:) “My generative organ is the form of Brahmā; and my pudendum muliebre is Viṣṇu; this seed is to be sown; otherwise the world will suffer. This son was generated by me, and by him I was produced; the creation is for Mahādeva (i.e. Śiva); (my) wife is created on Himālaya; Umā was given to Rudra; tell (me) whose daughter she is. You stupid ones, you do not know (it); may the lord speak (i.e. explain) it to you.” “(This) course was not followed by Brahmā, nor was it shown by Viṣnu; nor was it shown by Śiva, the killer of Brahmā.” “How (is it that) you are censuring the god? Today you must be killed by us”. O king, Śaṅkara, thus being beaten by the brāhmaṇas, smiled and said to all the brāhmaṇas (there): “O brāhmaṇas, have you not recognised me the frantic one, who has lost his sense? All of you are kind and have abided in friendship (with me).” The best brāhmaṇas stupefied by the trick of Hara, speaking (i.e. giving) a plea and having (put on) a brāhmaṇa’s guise, beat him, who had put on a mad man’s dress, with hands, feet, fists, sticks and blows with elbows. Thus being tormented by the brāhmaṇas he became angry. They were then cursed by the god (i.e. by Śiva): “You will be abandoned by the Vedas, will have your matted hair erect, will fall from sacrifice, enjoy others’ wives, will be delighted in the (company of) prostitutes and in gambling, will be forsaken by your fathers and mothers. A son shall not get the parental wealth or knowledge and may all of you, being stupefied, and abandoned by your senses, and depending on others’ food, obtain Rudra-like alms. Behaving (like this) and devoid of piety, you do not belong to me; but those brāhmaṇas who showed compassion towards me, will have wealth, sons, maids, servants and small cattle, and will have ladies born in noble families (as their wives) since I am now pleased (with these brāhmaṇas).”

75-93. Giving a curse and a boon like this, the god disappeared. When he had left, the brāhmaṇas, taking him to be lord Śaṅkara, tried to look for him; but when they did not find him, they, endowed with self-imposed religious observances, came to the Puṣkara forest. Having bathed in the pre-eminent lake, the brāhmaṇas muttered the hundred (names) of Rudra. At the end of the muttering of the prayer, the god (i.e. Śiva) spoke to them in a heavenly voice: “Even in a free talk I have never told a lie; then how (would I do so) when I have curbed my senses? I shall again confer happiness on you. The Vedas (i.e. Vedic knowledge), wealth and progeny of those brāhmaṇas who are tranquil, restrained, devoted to me and steady(-minded) in me, will not be taken away. Nothing inauspicious exists for those (brāhmaṇas) who are engaged in maintaining the sacred fire, are devoted to Janārdana (i.e. Viṣṇu), worship Brahmā (and) the Sun—the heap of lustre, and whose minds are steady in equilibrium.” Saying these words he remained silent. All (the brāhmaṇas) having received a boon and favour from the great god (i.e. Śiva) went together to (that place) where Brahma (stayed). They, together propitiating Brahmā, remained before him. Brahmā, being pleased, said to them: “Choose a boon from me also.” With these words of Brahmā, all those best brāhmaṇas were pleased. (They said to one another:) “O brāhmaṇas, which boon should we ask for when Brahmā is pleased? Let us have, as the result of the grant of this boon, the maintenance of the sacred fire, the Vedas, the various religious treatises, and the worlds relating to (i.e. due to) offspring.” When the brāhmaṇas were thus talking (among themselves) they became angry; “Who are you? Who are pre-eminent here? We are superior here.” The other brāhmaṇas said: “No, (it is not so).” Brahmā, seeing the brāhmaṇas that were there and were full of anger, said to them: “Since you remained in three groups out of the sacrificial assembly, therefore, brāhmaṇas, one group of you will be called āmūlika; those who remained neutral, will be called udāsīna; the third group, O brāhmaṇas, will be of those who have weapons with them and have equipped themselves with swords and will be termed kauśikī. This place, thus occupied in three ways (by the three groups) will be entirely yours. The subjects (living) here will be called a ‘world’ from outside (i.e. by the outsiders); Viṣṇu will certainly look after this unknown place. This place given by me will last eternally and be complete.” Saying so Brahmā thought of the conclusion of the sacrifice. All these brāhmaṇas who were (some time back) full of anger and jealousy together fed the guests and became engrossed in the Vedic studies.

94-99. This Puṣkara, also called Brahma, is a great sacred place. To the tranquil brāhmaṇas living in that sacred place nothing is difficult to obtain in the world of Brahmā. O best king, fulfilment of an object, which takes place at other sacred places after twelve years is had by men within six months only at these sacred places, viz. Kokāmukha, Kurukṣetra, Naimiṣa where there is the congregation of the sages, Vārāṇasī, Prabhāsa, so also Badarikāśrama, and at Gaṅgādvāra, Prayāga, and at the point where the Ganges meets the ocean, Rudrakoṭi, Virūpākṣa, so also Mitravana[4]; (about the fulfilment of the object of a man) there is no doubt if the man is intent on religious study. Puṣkara is the greatest of all sacred places and the best of all; it is always revered by the respectable ones devoted to the grandsire (i.e. Brahmā).

100-118. Hereafter I shall tell you the great dispute, caused by jest, of Sāvitrī with Brahmā (i.e. between Sāvitrī and Brahmā).

After Sāvitrī had left, all the divine ladies came there. The daughter of Bhṛgu born of Khyāti, viz. Lakṣmī, (ever) successful, always invited by (Sāvitrī) came there hurriedly. The very virtuous Madirā, giver of Yoganidrā (a state between sleep and wakefulness) and prosperity; Śrī, residing in a lotus, Bhūti, Kīrti and the high-minded Śraddhā: all these goddesses who gave nourishment and satisfaction had arrived (there); Satī, Dakṣa’s daughter, auspicious Pārvatī or Umā, the most beautiful lady in the three worlds, giving good fortune (absence of widowhood) to ladies; Jayā and Vijayā, Madhucchandā, Amarāvatī, Supriyā, Janakāntā (had all gathered) in Sāvitrī’s auspicious residence. They, who had put on fine dresses and ornaments, had arrived with Gaurī. (There were ladies like) Śakrāṇī, Puloman’s daughter, along with the celestial nymphs; Svāhā, Svadhā and Dhūmorṇā, of a beautiful face; Yakṣī and Rākṣasī and the very wealthy Gaurī; Manojavā, Vāyu’s wife, and Ṛddhi, the beloved (wife) of Kubera; so also the daughters of gods and the Dānava-ladies dear to Danu had come there. The great beautiful wives of the seven sages,[5] in the same way sisters, daughters and the hosts of Vidyādharīs; the Rākṣasīs, daughters of manes and other world-mothers. Sāvitrī desired to go (to the place of sacrifice) with the young married ladies and daughters-in-law; so also all daughters of Dakṣa, like Aditi and others had come. The chaste lady viz. Brahma’s wife (Sāvitrī), having a lotus as her residence, was surrounded by them. Some beautiful lady had taken sweets in her hand, someone with a winnowing basket filled with fruits approached Brahma. Similarly others taking measures of winnowed grain; so also a beautiful lady carried various kinds of pomegranates, citrons; another took bamboo-shoots, so also lotuses, and saffron, cumin-seeds, dates; another took all coconuts; (another) took a vessel full of grape (-juice); so also the śṛṅgāṭaka plant, variegated camphor-flowers and auspicious roseapples; so also someone else took walnuts, emblic myrobalan and citrons; a beautiful lady took ripe bilva-fruits and flattened rice; someone else took cotton-wicks and saffron-coloured garment. All the auspicious and beautiful ladies having put these and other things in winnowing baskets, reached there with Sāvitrī.

119-120. Purandara, seeing Sāvitrī there, was frightened; Brahma (too) remained there with his face hung down (thinking): ‘What will she (now) say to me?’ Viṣṇu and Rudra were ashamed, so also all other brāhmaṇas; the members (of the sacrificial assembly) and other gods were frightened.

121-122. Sons, grandsons, nephews, maternal uncles, brothers, so also gods named Ṛbhus and other deities—all remained embarrassed as to what Sāvitrī would say (then).

123-124. The cowherd daughters remained silent by the side of Brahmā listening to the words of all that talked there. ‘The lady of best complexion, though called by the (chief) priest did not come; (so) Indra brought another cowherdess (and) Viṣṇu himself presented her to Brahmā.

125-129. How would she be (behaving) at the sacrifice? How would the sacrifice be accomplished?’ When they were thus thinking, there entered (Brahmā’s wife) living in the lotus. Brahmā was, at that time surrounded by the members (of the sacrificial assembly), the priests and the deities. The brāhmaṇas who had mastered the Vedas were offering oblations to the fires. The cowherdess, remaining in the chamber (meant for the sacrificed wife) and having a deer’s horn and a girdle, and clothed in silken garments, meditated on the highest position. She was loyal to her husband, her husband was her life; she was seated prominently; she was endowed with beauty; in lustre she resembled the sun: she illumined the assembly there as (does) the brilliance of the sun.

130. The priests also worshipped the blazing fire (offering) portion of the sacrificial animals.

131-136. Gods desirous of receiving portions of oblations at the sacrifice then said: “(The sacrifice) should not be delayed; (for an act) performed late, does not give its (desired) fruit; this is the rule that is seen in the Vedas by all the learned.” When two milk (-pots) were ready, the food was jointly cooked, and when the brāhmaṇas were invited, the adhvaryu to whom the oblation was offered had come there, and the pravargya was performed by brāhmaṇas skilled in the Vedas; the food was being prepared. Goddess (Sāvitrī) seeing that said angrily to Brahmā who was sitting silently at the (sacrificial) session: “What is this misdeed you are about to do, that through lust you have abandoning me and committed a sin? She, whom you have put on your head (i.e. whom you have given so much importance) is not comparable with even the dust of my foot. This is what people gathered in the (sacrificial) assembly say. If you so desire, follow that command of those who are (like) gods.

137-141. Through your longing for beauty you have done what is condemned by people; O lord, you were not ashamed of your sons nor of your grandsons; I think you have done this censurable deed through passion; you are the grandsire of gods and the great grandsire of the sages! How did you not feel shame when you see your own body? You have become ridiculous for people and have harmed me. If this is your firm feeling, then O god, live (alone); salutation (goodbye) to you; how shall I (be able to) show my face to my friends? How shall I tell people that my husband has taken (another lady as) his wife?”

Brahmā said:

142-144. Immediately after the time of initiation, the priests prompted me: Without wife the sacrifice cannot be performed; bring your wife quickly. This (other) wife was brought by Indra, and presented to me by Viṣṇu; (so) I accepted her; O you of beautiful eyebrows, pardon me for what I have done. O you of good vow, I shall not wrong you like this again. Pardon me, who have fallen at your feet; my salutation to you.

Pulastya said:

Thus addressed, she got angry, and set about to curse Brahmā:

145-148. “If I have practised penance, if I have pleased my preceptors in the groups of brāhmaṇas, and at various places, brāhmaṇas will never offer you worship, except your annual worship (that falls)in the month of Kārtika which the brāhmaṇas will (alone) offer, but not other men at any other place on the earth.” Saying these words to Brahmā, she said to Indra who was nearby: “O Śakra, you brought the cowherdess to Brahmā. Since this was a mean deed you will obtain its fruit.

149. When you will stand (ready to fight) in a battle, you will be bound by your enemies and will be reduced to a very (pitiable) plight.

150. Being without any possession, having lost your energy, you will, having faced a great defeat, live in your enemy’s city, (but) will soon be released.”

151-153. Having cursed Indra (like this) the goddess then spoke (these words) to Viṣṇu: “When, due to the curse of Bhṛgu you will be born in the mortal world, you will there (i.e. in that existence) experience the pain of separation from your wife. Your wife will be taken by your enemy beyond the great ocean; with your mind struck by grief you will not know (by whom she is) taken, and you will be unhappy along with your brother after having met with a great calamity.

154-156. When you will be born in the Yadu-family, you will be named Kṛṣṇa; and being the attendant of beasts will wander for a long time.” Then the angry one said to Rudra: “When you will stay in the Dāruvana, then, O Rudra, the angry sages will curse you; O you skull-holder, mean one, you desire to snatch away a lady from amongst us; therefore, this arrogant generative organ of yours will today fall on the ground.

157-160. Void of manliness, you will be afflicted by the sages’ curse. Your wife residing at the Gaṅgādvāra will console you.” “O Agni, you were formerly made all-consumer by my son Bhṛgu, always righteous. How shall I burn (you) who are already burnt by him? O Agni, that Rudra will submerge you with his semen, and your tongue (i.e. your flame) will blaze more while consuming things not fit for a sacrifice.” Sāvitrī cursed all the brāhmaṇas and priests who had become the sacrificial priests for looting her husband, and who had, for nothing, reseated to the forest:

161. “Resort to all sacred and holy places through greed only; you will always be satisfied only (when you get) food of others; but will not be contented with food (prepared in) your own houses.

162-164. By sacrificing that which is not to be sacrificed and by accepting what is contemptible, by earning wealth and spending it purposelessl y—by that (your) dead bodies will only be departed spirits without obsequial rites (being offered to them).” In this way that angry (Sāvitrī) cursed Indra, so also Viṣṇu, Rudra, Agni, Brahmā and all the brāhmaṇas.

165-166. Having thus cursed them, she went out of the (sacrificial) assembly. Having reached the preeminent Puṣkara, she settled (there). She said to Lakṣmī who was laughing and also to the beautiful wife of Indra and also to young ladies (there): “I shall go there where I won’t hear any sound.”

167. Then all those ladies went to their respective residences. Sāvitrī, who was angry, set about to curse them too.

168. “Since these divine ladies have abandoned me and gone, I, who am extremely angry, shal I curse them also:

169-171. Lakṣmī shall never stay at one place. She, the mean and fickle-minded one, will stay among fools, among the barbarians and the mountaineers, among the foolish and the proud; so also as a result of (my) curse, you (i.e. Lakṣmī) will stay with mean persons such as the accursed and the wicked ones.”

172-174. Having thus given a curse (to Lakṣmī), she cursed Indrāṇī: “When Indra, your husband, oppressed by (the sin of) murder of a brāhmaṇa, will be unhappy, and when his kingdom will be snatched away by Nahuṣa, he will, having seen you, ask for you. (He will say) ‘I am Indra; how is it that this childish (lady) does not wait upon me? I shall kill all gods if I do not obtain Śacī (i.e. Indrāṇī)’. Then you who will have to run away, and will be alarmed and grieved, will stay in the house of Bṛhaspati, as a result of my curse, O you of wicked conduct and proud (one).”

175-1 78. Then she pronounced a curse on all the wives of gods: “All these (ladies) will not get affection due from children; they will be scorched (with grief) day and night and will be insulted and called ‘barren’.” Gaurī, of an excellent complexion was also cursed by Sāvitrī. She, who was weeping, was seen by Viṣṇu and he propitiated her: “O you of large eyes, do not weep; you ever-auspicious one, (please) come on; entering the (sacrificial) assembly, hand over your girdle and silken garments; O you wife of Brahmā, receive the initiation, I salute your feet.”

179. Thus addressed, she said to him: “I shall do as you say; and I shall go there where I shall not hear (any) sound.”

180-215. Having said this much, she (going) from that place and having climbed up a mountain, remained there. Remaining in front of her with great devotion, Viṣṇu, joining his hands and having bent down, eulogised her.

[see 108 names of Sāvitrī]

216-219. Sāvitrī, of a good vow, said to Viṣṇu who was thus praising her: “Son, you have properly praised me; you will be unconquerable; in your in carnation you will be along with your wife, dear to your father and mother; and he, who, having come here, praises me with this eulogy, will, being free from all sins, go to the highest place. Go to Brahmā’s sacrifice, O son, and complete it. At Kurukṣetra and Prayāga, I shall be the giver of food; and remaining by my husband do what you have said.”

220. Viṣṇu, thus addressed, went to the excellent (sacrificial) assembly of Brahmā. When Sāvitrī had left. Gāyatrī uttered (these) words:

221. “May the sages listen to my words uttered in the presence of my husband—whatever I, pleased and ready to grant a boon, say.

222-223. (Those) men (who), endowed with devotion, worship Brahmā, will have garments, grains, wives, happiness and riches; similarly (they will have) unbroken happiness in their house and (will have) sons and grandsons. Having enjoyed (happiness) for a long time, they will, at the end (of their life) attain salvation.”

Pulastya said:

224-225. Listen, with a concentrated mind, to the fruit one gets after having installed, with all care and according to the sacred rule, (the image of) Brahmā. By means of this installation one would get that fruit, which is a crore times surperior to the fruit of all sacrifices, all penance, charity, sacred places and Vedas.

226-227. O king, that man, who fasts with devotion on the full-moon day and worships Brahmā on the first day (i.e. the day succeeding the full-moon day) goes, O great-armed (i.e. mighty) one, to the place of Brahman; and he who worships him through priests especially goes to Viriñci (or) Vāsudeva (i.e. the lord of souls).

228-239. The chariot-procession of the lord is prescribed in the month of Kārtika; doing (i.e. taking) which with devotion men reach Brahmā’s world. With a number of musical instruments one should take out, along the road, the procession of Brahmā, with Sāvitri on the full-moon day of Kārtika, O best king. He should move (i.e. take out in procession the image of Brahmā) with people (i.e. the citizens) through the entire town. Then having thus taken out the procession, he should bathe him. Having fed the brāhmaṇas and first worshipped Agni, he should place (the image of) the god in a chariot accompanied by the sounds of auspicious musical instruments. Having worshipped Agni, according to the sacred precept, in front of the chariot, and having invoked the blessings of the brāhmaṇas, and repeating ‘this is an auspicious day’ three times, and placing (the image) of the god in a chariot, he should keep awake at night by means of many shows and the sound (of the recitation) of Vedas. O king, having kept awake the god, and having, in the morning, fed the brāhmaṇas with a number of articles of food according to his capacity, and, O king, having worshipped, with the recitation of sacred formula, and with clarified butter and milk, and according to the sacred rules; so also having invoked, according to the sacred precept, the blessings ofbrāhmaṇas, and having declared it to be an auspicious day he should move (i.e. take out in procession) the chariot through the city. The chariot of Brahmā should be moved (i.e. dragged) by brāhmaṇas learned in the four Vedas; so also, O brave one, by those skilled in the Atharva Veda, having (i.e. knowing) many verses and by priests—the chanters of Sāmaveda. He should thus take the chariot of the highest god round the city along a very even path. O brave one, the chariot is not to be moved by a Śūdra desiring his welfare; and no wise man, but the bhojaka, is to mount upon the chariot.

240-253. O king, he should place Sāvitrī to Brahmā’s right, bhojaka to his left and should place the lotus in his front. Thus O brave one, with many sounds of trumpets and conchs, the wise one should, having moved the chariot round the entire city, place the (image of the) god at the proper place after waving lights before it as an act of adoration. He, who takes out such a procession, or he who sees it with devotion or he who drags the chariot, would go to Brahmā’s place. He who offers lights in Brahmā’s hall (i.e. temple) in the new-moon day in the month of Kārtika and adores himself with sandal, flowers and new clothes on the first day (of Kārtika) would reach Brahmā’s place. This is a very holy day, on which Bali’s[6] kingdom was founded. The day is always very dear to Brahmā. It is called Bāleyī. He who, on this day, adores Brahmā and more specially himself, he goes to the highest place of Viṣṇu of unlimited lustre. O you of mighty arms, the first day of Caitra is auspicious and best. He, the best man, who, on this day, touches a Cāṇḍāla and bathes has no sin, no mental agonies or bodily diseases; therefore one should take bath (on this day) or it is a divine waving of lights before an idol, which destroys all diseases. O King, he should take out all the cows and buffaloes; then outside (the house) he should put up an arched door-way with all clothes etc. Similarly, O sustainer of the Kuru-family, he should give food to the brāhmaṇas. O you descendant of the Kuru-family, I have formerly told about these three days in the months of Kārtika, Āśvina and Caitra, O king; bath, giving gifts (on these days) (give) hundred-fold merit. O king, the (first) day of Kārtika is auspicious for king Bali, and beneficial to beasts!

Gāyatrī said:

254-255. O you born of the lotus, (though) Sāvitrī uttered the words that the brāhmaṇas will never worship you, (yet) on hearing my words they will worship you; having enjoyed pleasures here (i.e. in this world), they will obtain salvation in the other world. Knowing this to be a superior view (-point), he, being pleased, will grant them a boon.

256. O Indra, I shall grant you a boon: When you will be arrested by your enemies, Brahmā, having gone to the abode of the enemy will free you.

257. Due to the destruction of your enemy, you will have great joy and will get back your (capital-) city which (you had) lost. In the three worlds yours will be a great kingdom without any vexation.

258-259. O Viṣṇu, when you will take an incarnation on the earth, you will, with your brother, experience great grief due to the kidnapping of your wife etc. You will, having killed your enemy rescue your wife in the presence of gods. Having accepted her and having governed the kingdom again, you will go to heaven.

260. You will (rule) for eleven thousand years and (then) will go to heaven. You will enjoy great fame in the world, and will love people.

261. O god, those men who would be emancipated by you in the form (i.e. incarnation) of Rāma, will have (i.e. will go to) the celebrated worlds called Sāntānika.

262-265. Then Gāyatrī, the giver of boons said to Rudra: “Those, men, who will worship your genital organ (in the form of phallus) even though it had fallen, being purifed and earning merit thereby, will share (i.e. enjoy) heaven. That state which men get by worshipping your genital organ (in the form of phallus), cannot be had in (i.e. by) maintaining sacred fire or offering oblations into it. Those who will, in the early morning worship your genital organ (in the form of phallus) with a bilva-leaf, will enjoy the world of Rudra.”

266-267. “O Agni, you too, getting the status of the devotee of Śiva, be a purifier. There is no doubt that when you are pleased gods are pleased. The offerings are received by gods through you (only). Certainly when you are pleased, they, being pleased, will enjoy (the offerings); there is no doubt about this, since such is the Vedic statement.”

Then Gāyatrī said these words to all those brāhmaṇas:

268-284. There is no doubt that men having propitiated you at all the sacred places, will go to the place called Vairāja (i.e. of Brahmā). Having given various kinds of food and many gifts, and having pleased (the manes) they become gods of gods. Gods immediately enjoy offerings and manes immediately enjoy oblations in (i.e. through) the mouths of those who are the best brāhmaṇas, for you alone are capable of sustaining the three worlds—there is no doubt about it. You will all be purified by the restraint of breath; O best brāhmaṇas, you will not incur the sins for receiving gifts especially after having bathed at Puṣkara and having muttered (the names) of the mother of the Vedas (i.e. Gāyatrī). All deities are pleased by offering food (to brāhmaṇas) at Puṣkara. Even if (a man) feeds one brāhmaṇa, he obtains the fruit of (having fed) a crore. Men (destroy) all their sins like the murder of a brāhmaṇa and other bad deeds done by them by giving money into the hand of a brāhmaṇa. He is to be thrice worshipped using prayers to be muttered in my honour. That moment (even) a sin like the murder of a brāhmaṇa perishes. Gāyatrī destroys the sin committed during ten existences (or) even during a thousand existences and thousand groups of the three ages. Thus knowing and having muttered prayers in my honour you will be forever purified. There is no doubt or no hesitation about this. Having muttered, with your heads (bowed), (my) prayers especially with the utterance of ‘Om’ having three syllables, you will be undoubtedly purified. I have remained in the eight syllables (of the Gāyatrī metre). This world is pervaded by me. Adorned with all the words I am the mother of the Vedas. The best brāhmaṇas will attain success by muttering my names with devotion. All of you will have pre-eminence by muttering my names. A well-controlled brāhmaṇa having just the essence of Gāyatrī is better than one knowing the four Vedas, eating everything and selling all things. Since in the assembly Sāvitri pronounced a curse on the brāhmaṇas, whatever is given or offered here, all that becomes inexhaustible. Therefore, O best brāhmaṇas, I have given (this) boon. The brāhmaṇas who are devoted to the maintenance of sacred fire and offer sacrifice three times (i.e. morning, noon and evening), will go to heaven along with their twenty-one generations.

285-293. Thus having given an excellent boon to Indra, Viṣṇu, Rudra, Fire, Brahmā and brāhmaṇas at Puṣkara, Gāyatrī remained by the side of Brahmā. Then the bards narrated the cause of the curse to Lakṣmī. Gāyatrī, the beloved wife of Brahmā, having come to know about the several curses given to all these young ladies and to Lakṣmī, granted a boon to them: “Making all always praiseworthy, and looking charming with wealth, you, causing delight to all, will shine. O daughter, all, whom you look at, will share (i.e. have) religious merit; but abandoned by you all they will experience grief. They alone (whom you favour) will have (i.e. be born in high) caste and (noble) family, (will have) righteousness, O you of charming face. They alone will shine in the assembly and (they alone) will be (favourably) looked at by the kings. The best brāhmaṇas will solicit them only, and will be courteous to them only. ‘You are our brother, father, preceptor and relative too. There is no doubt about it. I can’t live without you. When I look at you my sight becomes clear and beautiful; my mind is very much pleased, I am telling you the truth and the truth only’. Such words delighting the people, will they, the good ones, who have been looked at (favourably) by you will hear.

294-299. Nahuṣa, having obtained Indrahood, will implore you. The sinner, put down through Agastya’s words, by you, will after being changed into a serpent, request him: ‘O sage, I am doomed through pride; be my refuge (i.e. help me)’. Then the revered sage, having pity in his heart (moved) by those words of his (i.e. of Nahuṣa), will say these words to him: ‘A king, honour to your family, will be born in your family. Seeing you in the form of (i.e. as) a serpent, he will break down your curse. Then you, giving up your state of serpent, will again go to heaven’. O you of beautiful eyes, as a result of my boon you will again reach heaven with your husband, who will have performed the horse-sacrifice.”

Pulastya spoke:

300-302. Then all the wives of the gods were addressed by (Gāyatrī) who was pleased: “Even though you will be having no children, you will not be grieved”. Then Gāyatrī grown with joy, advised Gaurī also. The high-minded beloved wife of Brahmā, granting the boons, desired the accomplishment of the sacrifice. Rudra, seeing Gāyatrī, the granter of boons, like that, saluted her and praised her with these words:

Rudra said:

303-317. My salutation to you, the mother of the Vedas, and purified by eight syllables. You are Gāyatrī, who helps people to cross difficulties, and speech of seven types[7], all the treatises containing eulogies, so also all verses, similarly all letters and signs, all treatises like the glosses, so also all precepts, and all letters. O goddess, my salutation to you. You are fair and of a fair form, and your face resembles the moon. You have large arms, delicate like the interiors of plantain-trees; you hold a deer’s horn and an extremely clean lotus in your hand; you have put on silken garments and the upper garment is red. You are adorned with a necklace, brilliant like the moon rays, round your neck. You are well beautified with ears having divine earrings. You shine with a face rivalling with the moon. You look charming with a hair-band having an extremely pure crown. Your arms like the hoods of serpents adorn the heaven. Your charming and circular breasts have their nipples even. The triple fold on the belly is proud of the divisions with the extremely fair hips and loins. Your navel is having a circular shape, is deep and indicates auspiciousness. You have expansive hips and loins and attractive buttocks; your couple of thighs is very beautiful and round; you have good knees and legs. Such as you are, you sustain the three worlds, and requests to you are truthful (i.e. are surely graceful). You will be a very fortunate one, the granter of boons and of an excellent complexion. The pilgrimage to Puṣkara will be fruitful on seeing you. You will receive the first adoration on the full-moon day of the month of Jyeṣṭha; and those men who knowing your prowess, will worship you, have nothing wanting as far as sons and wealth are concerned. You are the highest recourse to those who are plunged in a forest or in a great ocean; or those who are held up by bandits. You are the success, the wealth, the courage, the fame, the sense of shame, the learning, the good salutation, the intellect, the twilight, the light, the sleep and also the night of destruction at the end of the world. You are Ambā, Kamalā, the mother, Brahmāṇī and Durgā.

318-331. You are the mother of all gods, Gāyatrī and an excellent lady. You are Jayā, Vijayā (i.e. Durgā), and Puṣṭi (nourishment) and Tuṣṭi (satisfaction), forgiveness and pity. You are younger than Sāvitrī and will always be liked by Brahma. You are having many forms, a universal form; you are having charming eyes and move with Brahmā; you are of a beautiful form, you have large eyes and are a great protector of your devotees. O great goddess, you live in cities, in holy hermitages and in forests and parks. You remain to the left of Brahmā at all the places where he stays. To Brahmā’s right is Sāvitrī, and Brahmā is between (Sāvitrī and you). You are in the altar of the sacrifices, and you are the sacrificial fees of the priests; you are the victory of kings and the boundary of the ocean. O Brahmacāriṇī, you are (that which is the) initiation, and are looked upon as great beauty; you are the lustre of the luminaries and are goddess Lakṣmī living in Nārāyaṇa. You are the divine power of forgiveness of the sages, and are Rohiṇī among the constellations. You stay at the royal gates, sacred places, and at the confluences of rivers. You are the full-moon day in the full moon, and are intellect in prudence, and are forgiveness and courage. You of an excellent complexion, are known as goddess Umā among ladies. You are the charming sight of Indra, and are near Indra. You are the righteous outlook of the sages, and are devoted to the gods. You are the furrowed land of the agriculturists, and are the earth (or ground) of the beings. You cause the absence of widowhood to (married) ladies, and always give wealth and grains. When worshipped, you put an end to disease, death and fear. O you goddess, giving auspicious things, if you are properly worshipped on the full moon day of the month of Kārtika, you fulfil all desires. A man, who recites or listens to this eulogy repeatedly, gets success in all his undertakings; there is no doubt about it.

Gāyatrī said:

O son, what you have said will come about. You will be present at all places along with Viṣṇu.

Footnotes and references:

[1]:

Yajñavāṭa: A place prepared and enclosed for sacrifice.

[2]:

Kapardin: An epithet of Śaṅkara. Kaparda: Braided and matted hair, especially of Śaṅkara.

[3]:

Puroḍāśa: A sacrificial oblation made of ground rice and offered in Kapālas or vessels.

[4]:

Mitravana: Name of a forest.

[5]:

Saptarṣi: The seven sages i.e. Marīci, Atri, Aṅgiras, Pulastya, Pulaha, Kratu and Vasiṣṭha.

[6]:

Bali: Celebrated demon, a son of Virocana, the son of Prahlāda. When Viṣṇu, as a son of Kaśyapa and Aditi, came to Bali, noted for his liberality, and prayed to him to give as much earth as he could cover in three steps, and when he found that there was no place to put the third step, he planted it on the head of Bali and sent him with all his legions to the Pātāla and allowed him to be its ruler.

[7]:

Saptavidhā Vāṇī: Seems to represent the seven notes of Indian gamut.

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